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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Roasted red peppers: Roasting (or grilling or broiling)

If you're playing "Mystery Dish" with me at home and you've bought some on-sale red bell peppers, it's time to roast them! 

We're having some actual spring-like weather in my neck of the woods, so I choose to roast mine on the grill (since we fired up charcoal for grilling dinner, might as well get the most out of it).  You can also do them under the broiler, on a cast iron pan on the stove top or directly over an open flame.  Open flame is probably the quickest choice, followed by charcoal grill, gas broiler, gas stovetop with cast iron, gas grill, electric stovetop with cast iron and electric broiler coming in slowest. 

Every method will take somewhere around 15-25 minutes.  You just need to turn the peppers every few minutes to make sure all sides get nicely burned.  Yes, burned.  The more heavily charred they are, the easier they'll peel.  Patience is the key, and I'm not ashamed to admit that it's hard for me to execute.

So like everything else I blog about, you can choose to either front-load your work (by spending more time charring) or back-load it (by spending more time peeling).  After the peppers are roasted, I put them in a plastic ziptop bag cuz Ziploc is how I roll and also because the plastic traps the steam from the hot peppers better than paper bags (another traditional roasted pepper pre-peeling receptacle) which helps to lift the skins.  Let them cool for at least 15 minutes or until they are absolutely cold. 

Taking the skins off is just a matter of rubbing the burned bits away.  Really.  That's it.  Remember, the more char, the easier they peel.  Pull the stem and the seed cluster out...it won't offer much resistance.  Try to get as much of the peel and seeds off as possible, but don't be obsessive.  Put the peeled peppers on a sheet tray and pop them in the freezer.  Transfer to a storage container when they're frozen for longer storage. Pin It

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